Arnsono: Level thread for peer feedback [Thanks for Playing!]

'Twas the Choco Latte Contest 2022.
Ness-Wednesday
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Arnsono: Level thread for peer feedback [Thanks for Playing!]

Postby Ness-Wednesday » Thu Jul 14, 2022 8:00 am

Arnsono

Image

This thread will be open for feedback on my Choco Latte contest level. Heavily inspired by the Sonoran Desert. Note that some parts of the level are incomplete because I won't have time until next week to add what's left. Might as well take this opportunity, right? IRL has been busy for me, so I had to work on 80% of the level ahead of time. The boss, fake blocks, and star coin graphics are going to be added in the next patch, but I want to make sure my setups are fair before finishing the level. This level will be officially submitted 2-5 days before the submission period ends, so multiple patches will be made before this happens.

And of course... Wait, what am I doing again?
Last edited by Ness-Wednesday on Mon Aug 22, 2022 3:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

SuperAlex
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Re: Arnsono: Level thread for peer feedback [Setup Difficulty Balancing]

Postby SuperAlex » Thu Jul 14, 2022 6:43 pm

Glad to see the Desert Tileset Feeling good with the Theme, Example:, Critters Hoots, Cobrats, Shocking Blocks Aesthetic Maybe the First Star coin is hard to find but understanding, good. Maybe I hope to see the Boss A bit medium/hard to beat. Nice level

cato
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Re: Arnsono: Level thread for peer feedback [Setup Difficulty Balancing]

Postby cato » Tue Aug 02, 2022 8:48 am

While I played the whole level on my own, I noticed a few problems outside of those I have already mentioned in the server. The underground section (especially with a lot of electric blocks) is quite overwhelming in the later parts. The part specifically with riding terrain with electric blocks. I also fail to collect 3/5 star coins due to them being placed in obscure spots or in a way I don't get them on the first try.

I also feel like you can do something better with the electric blocks than it being just a jump-and-dodge obstacle.

Ness-Wednesday
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Re: Arnsono: Level thread for peer feedback [Setup Difficulty Balancing]

Postby Ness-Wednesday » Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:35 pm

So an update on what's been going on:

Firstly, thanks for the feedback for those who played the current version of the level. Unfortunately, I underestimated how much time vacation was going to eat for my level. I'm able to get all of the changes done. As a matter of fact, I was about ready to prepare another patch for tomorrow. However, my flash drive ate some of SMBX's files and kept giving me problems. I tried reinstalling SMBX outside the drive, but the game wouldn't load there. Note that this is being done on a borrowed work laptop.

The level and its custom files are fine. I'll 100% make sure a patch is released before the 15th. And as for the boss... there's a 50/50 chance this level may or might not have one. In case it doesn't, I'm sorry. I really thought what I had planned would've fit well into my schedule with the rest of the level. Once again, thanks to those who played the level. It's rough, but I'm going to make sure this level is in the most polished state possible before the submission period ends.

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Re: Arnsono: Level thread for peer feedback [Level 99% complete]

Postby Ness-Wednesday » Sat Aug 20, 2022 7:41 pm

I have finally completed the level. Unfortunately, there was some content I had to cut out due to time constraints and the file size getting bloated. The level itself has been completed, but there are three technical changes that I have to make before I submit it, namely with spouts.lua.

Changelog:
Spoiler: show
- The timer has been removed. I gave this a second thought, and the timer felt like a limiter to the fun factor compared to most levels.
- Scorpions were removed. There are already two projectile enemies in the level. Having three projectile shooters didn't make the level feel very focused.
- The Dragon coin count has been reduced from 5 to 3. I wanted to give five Dragon coins to collect like in SMW, but the second and fifth Dragon coins felt excessive.
-The sand geysers in the vertical section no longer despawn. (Noted by cato)
-The hint to the first Star Coin has been made more transparent. (Noted SuperAlex and cato)
-The final section's noise has been reduced. (Noted by cato)
I recommend re-downloading the level because the older version has extra files that are left unused in this version.

Besides potential future feedback, all that's left is changing the sound effect the sand geysers make, fixing the sizeable ? block bug, and check if there's a way to stop the geysers from making sounds at the start of the level.
Have fun! ^u^

cato
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Re: Arnsono: Level thread for peer feedback [Level 99% complete]

Postby cato » Sun Aug 21, 2022 2:01 am

I think this version has no big problems like the previous one in regards to the setups before the last section. The way the geysers work is demonstrated extensively, both in terms of player movement and NPC interactions. The visuals, as well, look incredibly nice. The bonus underground and custom cutscene is something out of the blue, but I suppose it is a nice reward for entering the vase. I think the problem is with the 3rd Star Coin, which is slow to get the correct angle for the shots, but fun regardless and pairs well with the properties of the geysers.

Regarding the first Star Coin, I am no intellectual. It took me a while to realize to
Spoiler: show
lure the rat from the generator to the sand pit right after it.
I think the hint is a bit better in conveying the message.

I think the electric section is quite overwhelming. While there is a lot of variety with the setups, it is rather long and warrants an additional powerup/fix somewhere before the ride. The ride setups are jank, and you can easily die to the one without the quicksand. And somehow, you can create a loop of electric shock on the first layer if you jump at a particular time. Nonetheless, I don't know how to fix the section to make it look natural as a desert cave. The purple gets in the way of the yellow and orange, and it feels odd.

Aside from the bugs, you have to fix, there isn't much else that I think is problematic. Maybe except for the PNPC warning that pops up since it is a technical problem and may get your score deduced.


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